Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 15:03:19 -0800 (PST)

> Here is that conundrum again, what do you mean by words have meaning? That
> they have an effect on people? What can they do, if they don't cause thoughts
> which give rise to emotions which then give rise to actions.

What I mean is just this: that when I say "axe", I have in mind a specific
kind of thing that exists in the real world, has a specific nature that
causes it to behave in certain ways, and that differentiate it from other
specific things like knives and hammers.

You may have different models in your mind attached to certain words
than I do, and that makes communication difficult, and on those cases
we have to spend time reconciling what real things I am referring to,
and either start referring to them with the word you use for that real
thing, or perhaps create a new word that we agree on.

The alternative to "words mean something" is "words are subjective",
that is, my words cause some reaction in your mind, and your words
cause some reaction in mine, and there is nothing external to us that
we can point to or measure to resolve the difference.

> <<What do you mean by "allow for" emotions? Do you
> mean to recognize that they exist? >>
> No, they do not need your recogition in order to exist.
> No, simply, I mean FEEL them, allow the emotion that is appropriate, then do
> the_work_( and it can take work) to control them, instead of repressing them
> or denying they exist. This is different than compulsively acting (reacting)
> on them or expressing them,. BTW.

I don't think I've ever said anything contrary to that. Indeed, I quite
clearly stated that I experience and enjoy emotion regularly. To deny
their existence in myself or others, or to act to supress them, would
indeed be irrational.

What I am saying is entirely different. I am saying one should not
/evaluate/ ideas by the emotional response to them, but by reason. To
use words only to manipulate the emotions of the listener--positively
as well as negatively--is to treat him as a puppet instead of a human.
He has a rational mind. He has free will. I know this because I know
that I have free will. I refuse to insult him by tailoring my ideas
to his irrational reactions. Indeed, if I know he has these irrational
reactions, I want to help him overcome them, not deny or evade them.